Kangaroos hold off winless Suns
A four-goal performance by Brent Harvey helped North Melbourne to a nail-biting seven-point AFL victory over Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
The Kangaroos’ 11.21 (87) to 12.8 (80) victory was a scrappy and at times aggressive one as both sides went into the match desperate for a win.
It appeared Drew Petrie’s second goal of the night with seven minutes to go had given North the breathing space they needed but a late goal to the Suns’ Harley Bennell ensured the result went right down to the final siren.
After an error-strewn, low-scoring first half in which the Roos held a narrow 3.12 (30) to 4.3 (27) lead, it was North Melbourne who were the first team to find their rhythm.
Two goals to Harvey in the first four minutes after the main break gave the Kangaroos a handy advantage, although a Taylor Hine goal kept the Suns – who are still winless in 2012 – within reach.
The match turned spiteful minutes later after Hine was penalised for high contact on Lindsay Thomas.
Tempers boiled over after Thomas scored from the free kick as both teams came together resulting in another free kick to North, which Cunnington was unable to capitalise upon.
It appeared North had best handled the rise in physicality and intensity after Thomas scored his second, but long-range goals from Gary Ablett and Josh Caddy gave the Suns momentum going into the final change as they trailed by 12 points.
But it wasn’t enough as the visitors held off a determined Suns to the disappointment of the 10,170-strong crowd.
Todd Goldstein (32 hitouts) and Drew Petrie (two goals, 23 disposals) put in strong performances for the Kangaroos, while Suns captain Ablett was again a standout in a beaten side, kicking four goals and collecting a game-high 42 possessions.© AAP 2013